Accessing your personal information - subject access request

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 an individual has the right to request all personal data that an organisation holds about them by making a subject access request.

You can make a request to access your personal information at the link below. Before you do please take the time to read the information provided on this page.

Make a subject access request


  • data controller - the organisation which makes decisions about the personal data
  • data subject - the subject of the personal data
  • personal data - any data that can identify a living individual
  • redaction - removal of information which cannot be disclosed

See the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) guide to key definitions of the Data Protection Act.

What information do I need to provide?

1. A clear, specific request

The Council does not have to start working on a subject access request until you have provided enough information for us to find the personal data.

For example, a request for 'all of the personal data held on me' is not specific enough for us to find your personal data.

The Council processes personal information for many reasons, below is a list of the most requested information types:

  • social care information
  • housing benefit files
  • council tax information
  • employment files

You will need to state which Council departments you have dealt with.

If you are requesting social care information then please provide details of any family members who were also involved with social care. This will allow us to conduct a more thorough search of our social care records and allow us to provide you with more information (see what information can I access?).

2. Current identification

The Council takes great care to ensure that personal data is only disclosed to those who are authorised to access it. For this reason you will need to provide a form of ID from each of the lists below in order to request your personal information.

Examples of acceptable name identification:

  • driver's license
  • passport
  • birth certificate

Examples of acceptable proof of address:

  • utility bill
  • bank statement
  • council tax bill

Address ID is necessary in order to ensure that your personal data is being posted to the right place. If you would rather pick up your data by hand then please let us know.

How long does a subject access request take?

The Data Protection Act gives data controllers 40 calendar days to complete a subject access request. This time starts from when the Council receives a clear request and enough identification to be sure that the request is from the data subject. Once this information has been received we will contact you to acknowledge that the 40 day period has started.

Some social care files are very large and may take longer than 40 days to complete. If this is the case with your request we will contact you.

What information can I access?

The Data Protection Act allows individuals to access any personal data that is held about them.

Some files, such as social care files, contain information about people other than the data subject. This information is known as 'third party data' and will be removed from the file unless it is known that the data subject is aware of it or consent for disclosure has been obtained.

What if I require information about someone else?

There are a few ways that you can obtain information about another individual.

The easiest way is to obtain their consent. A consent form should be signed by the data subject and clearly set out what data can be released.

Anyone with parental responsibility can obtain their children's records. However, once a child reaches an age where they can understand the implications of their data being shared their consent will be sought.

What if I am not happy with the response to my request?

The first stage is to contact us to request a review of your request. The Data Protection Act does not specify how long a review should take but in most cases the Council will attempt to review your request within 20 working days.

If you are still unsatisfied after a review then the next stage is to contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO):

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Tel: 01625 545 700

Page updated: 14/05/2018 00:01:03